O’Keefe family removed from lawsuit regarding mega hospital location
The O'Keefe family has been dismissed from a lawsuit regarding the proposed location of the new mega hospital.
The family owns the land for the proposed site at County Road 42 and Concession 9 in Windsor.
The lawsuit continues, but GEM Properties will not block the project from moving forward.
Two things happened in court today. First the injunction to stop progress was dropped. Then GEM Properties removed the O'Keefe's from the lawsuit.
“My client's thrilled that the entire process is not going to be held up," says Sharon Strosberg , lawyer for the O’Keefe family.
Mary Jane O'Keefe says she is relieved her family has been removed from the lawsuit.
"We can all exhale now,” she says. “So move forward with the hospital."
GEM Properties offered lands near Jefferson and Tecumseh Road East, but the the O’Keefe land was announced as the winning bid last summer.
Windsor Regional CEO David Musyj says it wasn't the money officials were worried about, it was the injunction.
Musyj says what's left to move forward to Stage Two of the project, is provincial approval.
“As a region, we really right now have one shot at this,” says Musyj. “And that shot is before us right now. Once we know we're in Stage Two, again, that 'if" is gone from the project, it's just a matter of when. But we're still in the if and when phase."
Gem Properties contends it still has legitimate concerns about the integrity and fairness of the site selection.
In a statement today, lawyer for GEM Properties Maria Marusic says:
“GEM will not be pursuing injunctive relief and will limit its claim to damages," says Marusic.
However, Marusic says GEM will continue to vigorously pursue court action seeking a review of the selection process and the $10-million in damages.
"GEM is confident that a review of the proposal by the court will show that the process was flawed and lacked fairness not only for proponents but for stakeholders as well," says Marusic.
Musyj gave Gem Properties credit for removing the barrier.
“The lawsuit is still there for possible damages, however I am confident that over time it will either be resolved or disappear," says Musyj.